Tune in at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 to see United Way’s investments in education, income, health and basic needs at work

No matter what local television station you’re watching at 7:30 p.m. on Tues., Sept. 3, you’ll see talent from Indy’s TV stations on camera, speaking out for a single cause: improving lives and communities through United Way.

For one day in one half hour, WFYI 1 Public Television (20.1), WISH-TV 8 and MyINDY-TV 23, RTV 6, WTHR Channel 13, FOX59 and Indiana’s 4 WTTV will urge the whole community to LIVE UNITED through United Way of Central Indiana. WFYI will also air all of the stories Thursday, Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m., in a half hour LIVE UNITED 2013 program.

During programming breaks, the stations will show stories of local people who’ve benefitted from opportunities and resources to learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives, thanks to United Way and its supporters. Here’s a sampling of what  to expect:

FOX 59: Focus on Health — On her 21st birthday, Ghislene and her husband did something they had not planned to do: adopt a baby with special needs. The Children’s Bureau not only helped them create a family, it has also helped lead Ghislene to her vocation as a foster care specialist.

RTV 6: Focus on Education — Last year, Kamden, a third grader in Martinsville, was facing retention. After just four months of  extra help with ReadUP volunteers, she not only passed the state reading assessment, she got a perfect score and is now starting fourth grade.

WFYI 1: Focus on Income — High School was challenging for Boubacar because he came to the U.S. from Niger at age 12. Overcoming a language barrier and low cognitive skills, Boubacar got help finding a job through Easter Seals Crossroads along with ongoing coaching to stay employed at Community Surgery Center North.

WISH-TV 8: Focus on Health — Mikayla, now 5, was diagnosed as an infant with Sickle Cell anemia. In her short life, she’s been hospitalized more than 20 times and undergone dozens of procedures. Thanks to Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative, she and her mother are learning to cope with the disease and helping others too.

WTHR Channel 13: Focus on Basic Needs — Eight years ago, Valerie lost her job, her home and her car. Thanks to help she got while in crisis from the John H. Boner Community Center, she’s turned her life around. She’s now living in her own home and volunteering in the community that gave her a second chance.

The stories will be introduced in a joint message from each station’s anchors and close with an invitation to give. A short interview with United Way’s new leader Ann D. Murtlow, and annual campaign chair, Andy Mohr, will also air that night.

A gift from local television broadcasters to the community, the video stories traditionally help launch United Way’s annual fundraising campaign which invites people to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering. The official kickoff is Thursday, September 5, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Monument Circle, in conjunction with The Indianapolis Colts season.

“If you give money to help others, you want to know it makes a difference,” said Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana.”Thanks to our local story telling pros, we are able to get that crucial message out to thousands of people all at once, and then continue sharing the stories online throughout the year.”

Murtlow said the broadcasters’ contribution is unique and a long-standing Indiana tradition. “We don’t know of another place in the country where competing television stations use their best talents to do what they do best show how lives and communities are better when we all unite through United Way.” This is the 15th year of the collaboration.

Last  year, United Way raised a record-breaking $41 million to help create opportunities for a better life for all. The 2013 goal will be announced Thursday, September 5 at The BIG Kickoff on Monument Circle, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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